Chicken, Gorgonzola, Pear, And Walnut Salad


I love main dish salads, particularly during the warmer months when you just do not want to be stuck slaving away in a hot kitchen. I was out for lunch recently and ordered a salad very similar to this one and thoroughly enjoyed the combination of flavors. I roasted my pear slices but you could leave the slices raw if you preferred. If leaving them raw, simply dip the freshly cut pears in water mixed with some lemon juice to prevent the pears from turning brown. If you prefer to simplify the preparation, you could buy a rotisserie chicken and use the white breast meat for this salad and save the other pieces for another use. Other additions you might consider to personalize this salad could be bacon bits, homemade croutons, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices. By changing your dressing ingredients, you could completely change the flavor of this salad, but I prefer using a simple white balsamic vinaigrette for my salad.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Chicken, Gorgonzola, Pear, And Walnut Salad

This salad is a complete meal in a bowl.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (5 Ounce) Bags Baby Mixed Greens
  • 2 Poached Chicken Breasts, Chopped Into Pieces
  • 2 Cups Candied Walnuts (See Recipe Below)
  • 2 Large Ripe Pears
  • 6 Green Onions, Chopped
  • 4 Ounces Gorgonzola Cheese

Dressing:

  • 1/4 Cup White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Candied Walnuts:

  • 2 Cups Whole Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar

Directions:

  1. If roasting the pears, cut into wedges leaving skin on, and cutting out the core.
  2. Place on a baking sheet in a preheated 350 degree oven and cook about 15 minutes or until fork tender.
  3. Divide the salad greens onto four individual plates.
  4. Place the chicken, walnuts, pears, onions, and gorgonzola cheese on top of the greens.
  5. To make the dressing, mix the vinegar in a bowl with salt and pepper until the salt dissolves.
  6. Then beat in the oil by droplets, whisking constantly.
  7. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  8. Drizzle the dressing onto each plate and serve immediately.
  9. For The Candied Walnuts: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  10. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and bake about 5 minutes.
  11. Sprinkle on the sugar and toss with the walnuts to coat.
  12. Add a teaspoon or two of water and toss again.
  13. Bake another 3 or 4 minutes until the walnuts are crisp and lightly browned.
  14. Coarsely chop and cool.